Flames prepare for Horizon League tourney

 

The No. 5 seeded men’s basketball team faces No. 8 Cleveland State in the first round of the Horizon League Tournament Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the UIC Pavilion.

Student tickets are free with i-card; UIC employees can purchase lower-level tickets for $10 through 5 p.m. Monday by calling 312-413-8421.

Cleveland State dropped an 87-60 decision at Loyola on Saturday in the regular season finale, earning the No. 8 seed in the Horizon League Tourney.  The Vikings have defeated UIC 12 straight times, dating back to the 2007-08 season.

“We’ve worked all season long to get a home game in the Horizon League Tournament,” said head coach Howard Moore.  “Now we need to take advantage of that.  We’ve got a really quick turnaround, and we’ve got to get ourselves prepared for the postseason.”

The Flames dropped a 79-67 decision versus Detroit in the regular season finale for both teams at the Pavilion Saturday afternoon.  On Senior Day, Daniel Barnes and Anthony Kelley combined to score 43 points.

With the loss, the Flames dropped to 16-14 on the season, with a 7-9 finish in Horizon League play.  Detroit improved to 20-11 and 12-4.

Barnes scored a game-high 28 points, bolstered by a career-best eight three-point field goals, the most in a Horizon League game this season.  Kelley, starting his 10th game of the season, contributed a career-high 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting.  Detroit’s Doug Anderson poured in 22 points, pacing a threesome of Titans in double figures.  UDM outscored the Flames 44-16 in the paint.

“We got off to a tough start in the first half, and a 14-point hole against a team like Detroit is tough to get out of,” Moore said.  “If we had played in the first half like we did in the second half, it may have been a different game.  Unfortunately, our team defense wasn’t there tonight, and our 19 turnovers were too many to overcome.”

Detroit led 36-22 at halftime after closing the frame on an 8-0 run.  Anderson scored 10 points in the stanza to pace Detroit, while Kelley chipped in 11 points for UIC.  The Titans shot 48.4 percent on 15 field goals in the opening half, and the Flames shot 30.8 percent on 8-of-26 shooting.

UIC opened the second half on an 11-2 spurt, quickly trimming Detroit’s edge, 38-33.  But the Titans answered with five-straight points, pushing their lead back to double digits (43-33) with 13:07 remaining.

Two free throws by sophomore Marc Brown pulled UIC within six, 47-41, at the 10:43 mark.  UDM countered with an ensuing 13-8 spurt, claiming a commanding 60-49 advantage with 6:08 left.  UIC could draw no closer than a 10-point margin down the stretch.

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